Drink to the Turtles

Pouring some out for the honu who aren’t here completely optional.



Once in a while, swimmers just off shore at Hawaii beaches realize they are not alone. There’s a dark shadow in the water next to them. Suddenly, it rises to the surface and … it’s a turtle! Such friendly encounters with honu are always a thrill and sometimes downright inspiring.

Just ask Brett Porter, a Portland, Ore., brewer who recently launched Honu Brewing Co. to sell a microbrew that he has literally dedicated to the turtles—a portion of proceeds will be donated to the Honolulu-based World Turtle Trust. “The moment you see a sea turtle face-to-face is the moment you commit yourself to their preservation,” says Porter. “I returned from my last Hawaii vacation knowing I had to do something. Since I’m a brewer, I figured I could make the greatest impact through beer.”

The World Turtle Trust began 12 years ago as The Honu Project. It educates people about the plight of turtles—all seven species of sea turtles are considered endangered—through documentaries. Its most recent video, Red Turtle Rising, covers a Big Island project to monitor hawksbill turtles at Kamehame Beach and received the Hawaii Filmmaker and Video Award at the Hawaii International Film Festival in 1999. Now, the World Turtle Trust has projects in Costa Rica, India and St. Eustatius in the Netherlands Antilles (near the Caribbean), all places where turtles come ashore to nest. For more information, visit www.world-turtle-trust.org.

Paradise Distributing stocks Honu Beer in local stores. The pale gold ale, designed to refresh subtropical sippers on hot days, is slightly sweet, light on the hops, with hints of berry. Pouring some out “for the honu who aren’t here” is completely optional. $6.99/6-pack.